Shocking images show torture, executions by Iraqi soldiers
Warning: This story includes graphic descriptions of torture.
A photojournalist who embedded with an elite group of Iraqi soldiers has documented point-blank executions and brutal torture of what appear to be civilians.
One of Ali Arkady’s videos shows a member of the Emergency Response Division (ERD) beating a man who is blindfolded and hanging from a ceiling.
Another video shows a handcuffed man shot point blank in the back as he attempts to flee.
And those are only two examples of what he witnessed.
Terrorism expert and University of Waterloo professor Bessma Momani says the photos remind her of the torture committed by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghriab prison in 2003.
“The images are horrific,” she said.
Human rights lawyer Paul Champ made the same comparison. He also said he’s not surprised.
“The practice of torture's endemic across many countries in the Middle East,” Champ said.
The ERD has been praised and advised by the U.S. military, but Canadian officials says our trainers in Iraq have never partnered with the division.
A colonel with the Canadian Armed Forces said the photos left him “sickened, disgusted, and quite frankly, angry.”
Foreign Affairs Canada says it is “gravely concerned” by the “horrific imagery” and that it has met with senior Iraqi officials to raise concerns.
Arkady, meanwhile, has said he hopes to apply for refugee status in Canada.
With a report from CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson